Smolov Jr. for Bench and Squat

Smolov junior is a three-week intermediate loading training program that is basically just the base mesocycle(Accumulation block) in Smolov Sr. The Smolov Jr. training program is focused on squatting and/or benching 4 times per week over a period of 3 weeks. Like its senior counterpart, Smolov Jr. is based around high frequency, high volume, high intensity, and the workload is sufficiently high, that most trainees will accumulate fatigue throughout the 3 week period. The percentages used are exactly the same as Smolov senior. However, in the junior version, the number of sets has been increased while the reps have been decreased accordingly, so the total number of repetitions at a given intensity is roughly the same.  (Sr. = 4repsx9sets/5×7=/7×5/10×3 vs  Jr.= 6×6/7×5/8×4/10×3). The lower reps per set at a given intensity results in less strain on your recovery, in the Junior version (Sr. = 36reps@70% , 35reps@75% , 35reps@80% , 30reps@85% vs  Jr.=36reps@70% , 35reps@75% , 32reps@80% , 30reps@85%). Personally, I think the weight increases from week 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 are arbitrary and should be adjusted on a personal basis.

Open Spreadsheet

How to open/download in Microsofts Excel (.xls, .xlsx) or Calc (.ods)

Preview the Smolov junior Spreadsheet


It is quite common to do a deload/taper before testing a 1RM on Smolov Jr and probably necessary, since the program is meant to accumulate fatigue. There is no official written Taper or Deload for the smolov Program. A way to approach the deload could be:

  1. Day 1 – Rest
  2. Day 2 – Light training: 5-8×2-3@50-80%
  3. Day 3– Rest
  4. Day 4 – Build up to a single close to 90% of your old max. If you feel good, continue to build up to a new max, otherwise repeat the process for a maximum of 2 cycles(8days).

Alternative one could simply perform the last taper/deload week from Smolov Sr.

Mixing in Other Lifts

It is not recommended to actively try to improve other lifts while doing Smolov and assistance work is done mainly with the purpose of maintenance and rehab.